Not only has Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) taken the lead in a new CNN primary poll, he’s also apparently doing quite well in courting some big name donors. Billionaire Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson, who spent about $100 million in the 2012 campaign, has signaled his early favor of Rubio, which is about the best support you can get aside from the Koch brothers if you’re a Republican.
Report on polling from CNN:
Sen. Marco Rubio leads all Republican presidential hopefuls in a new poll released Thursday morning, capturing some momentum in the weeks after he became the third major Republican to announce his presidential campaign.
The Florida senator garnered support from 15% of the registered Republicans polled by Quinnipiac University, giving him a slight edge over his mentor Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who won 13% of the vote in the poll.
Rubio also performed the best of all the potential Republican candidates in hypothetical head-to-head matchups against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, trailing her by only two percentage points.
The poll shakes out like this:
15% – Marco Rubio
13% – Jeb Bush
11% – Scott Walker
9% – Ted Cruz
8% – Rand Paul
7% – Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie
Now, as far as the Republican money is concerned, Sheldon Adelson is a good man to have in your corner. Report from Politico:
Before Iowa and New Hampshire, GOP candidates are competing in the Sheldon Adelson primary, and some will travel to his posh Venetian hotel in Las Vegas this weekend in hopes of winning it. But one candidate — Marco Rubio — has emerged as the clear front-runner, according to nearly a half-dozen sources close to the multibillionaire casino mogul.
In recent weeks, Adelson, who spent $100 million on the 2012 campaign and could easily match that figure in 2016, has told friends that he views the Florida senator, whose hawkish defense views and unwavering support for Israel align with his own, as a fresh face who is “the future of the Republican Party.” He has also said that Rubio’s Cuban heritage and youth would give the party a strong opportunity to expand its brand and win the White House.
Adelson has been one to spend a lot of money on candidates he likes, and very little on candidates he can merely “accept.” This would give Rubio a considerable war chest, especially during the primary seasons which is mainly a game of who can last the longest with a bank account in the black.